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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Malawi parliament ban overturned
President Bingu wa Mutharika
Opposition MPs sought to block Mr Mutharika's budget
Malawi's parliament is free to meet again after the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned an earlier injunction.

On Sunday, opposition MPs were granted the injunction, apparently seeking to stall debate on the national budget.

The order was overturned after the attorney general argued in court that parliament should be allowed to meet and approve the already-delayed budget.

The budget has been caught up in a political row over the defection of opposition MPs to the government side.

Earlier this week, police raided the home of Judge Joseph Mwanyungwe, who issued the injunction barring the speaker of parliament from reconvening the house.

United Democratic Front (UDF) MP Leonard Mangulama and independent MP Gerald Mponda obtained the injunction on Sunday.

Opposition MPs have been refusing to discuss the budget unless MPs who switched to President Bingu wa Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are expelled.

Demonstrations

News of the injunction prompted demonstrations in which people threw stones at the parliament building and barricaded the MPs inside for more than five hours.

The current political impasse began in June, when the Supreme Court ruled that the speaker of parliament can expel MPs who switch parties.

Most members of Mr Mutharika's party were elected on the ticket of the UDF, the former ruling party.

Mr Mutharika also won elections for the UDF, but left to set up the DPP, accusing UDF officials of blocking his anti-corruption drive.

Analysts say should the speaker expel the floor-crossing MPs, it could take six months to organise all the by-elections which would ensue.


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